Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) are not fazed by the Attorney General Advocate Abraham Keetshabe’s recent announcement that they are appealing the decriminalisation of same sex relations ruling.
In his statement that had attracted the applause of many Batswana on social media, Facebook, Keetshabe says that the High Court erred in arriving at its conclusion that homosexuality should be decriminalised.
LEGABIBO communication and documentation officer Bradley Fortuin tells The Midweek Sun that they have not yet received any official notice of appeal from the AG, explaining that they also saw it on social media.
He however says they could see the appeal coming. “AG always appeals our cases, hence it does not come as a surprise to us. But again, everyone has the right to appeal including government,” he says. Fortuin expresses disappointment in that the appeal highlights how the AG still wants homophobic laws in place and not advocate for an inclusive Botswana. He also says Batswana should not be moved as homosexuals are still very much protected by the decriminatisation Law.
“We are still free to express love to whoever we want, and to receive proper services from the police and health workers,” he states. Fortuin is optinistic that the courts will favour them, saying Botswana has a progressive judicial system. “Looking at our past cases, such as registration of LEGABIBO, amendment of the Employment Act, among others, we have faith in our judiciary system,” he says.
Meanwhile, LEGABIBO has since last week been meeting with support groups, among them parents of LGBTI persons, traditional leaders, on the decriminalisation ruling. LEGABIBO has over 50 subscribed members and works with over 400 LGBTIQ persons. It also has close to 30 parents, families and friends of LGBTIQ support group members in Mochudi and Francistown.